Looking for support in Akron, Ohio

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by saraj, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Hi everyone!

    My kitty Talula will be 12 on April 20th and was diagnosed with diabetes on 2/5/2015. She has also had a UTI the entire time since diagnosis. We are currently in our 4th round of antibiotics. She has endured 4 BG Curves at the vet's office and countless urine cultures and specifications. We started at 1 unit of NovolinN BID and after all the in office tests were up to 4 units BID 2 weeks ago. Completely frustrated with all of this (and $1200 in the hole with no real results, positive outcomes, or understanding of this disease) I decided to educate myself!

    I have done endless amounts of research in the last 2 weeks; literally every spare moment I have has been dedicated to finding out how I can best care for Talula.

    We have mastered home BG testing! I got her off Purina UR dry (which she had been eating for 6 years due to 2 surgeries to remove struvite stones). I switched her to the wet canned version of Purina UR which I now realize is still too high in carbs for a diabetic. This change was made in the very beginning of my research and I figured it was better than doing nothing. My vet did advise me to reduce her insulin to 2.5 units BID when we made the food change. I'm not clear how she came up with this amount, but thank God we did because in the last week, Talula had 2 hypo episodes that I caught (one BG was 50 and one was 38). I was able to rectify both by giving small amounts of food and rechecking every 30 mins to make sure BG was climbing. In the meantime, I have purchased a couple varieties of Fancy Feast Classic, but have not switched her yet because I don't know how to determine insulin dose based on BG tests with the new food. I also don't know if I should wean or just go cold turkey, I've read about both ways, but still don't know how to do insulin off BG readings. I'm hoping that I can get help with this by posting here.

    My other concern is that I now also realize that the NovolinN is not the best insulin choice for cats. My work schedule only permits feeding and testing every 12 hours (I can test as much as needed on my days off though) so I need to find an insulin that works more in this time frame/is longer lasting than NovolinN. I am also wondering if I should change insulin at the same time we begin the food change? I'm nervous because it seems like a lot of new variables and like I probably need to take a week off work to monitor her and watch everything...

    The other thing that would be great is if there is anyone out there that is in my area (Akron, Ohio) I am not getting much support from my vet and have called 6 other local vets beginning with the question "what type of diet do you recommend for diabetic kitties?" As I'm sure you all can guess...Hills, Royal Canin, dry, prescription, $$$...
    So needless to say, I have not been impressed with any of these answers.

    Thank you in advance so much for your help and support! I am so looking forward to getting this under control and giving Talula the best care I possibly can!

    Thank you,
    Sara
     
  2. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Welcome to FDMB.

    Making 1 change at a time lets you determine what effects are happening.

    Great job on learning to home test. See my signature link Glucometer Notes to get some feline specific reference ranges.


    The following insulins all last roughly 12 hours in the cat: ProZinc, BCP PZI, Lantus, and Levemir. To compare costs correctly, you must do it by units of insulin, not upfront total costs. Some example prices are here.

    While you are using Novolin (or Humulin) NPH, this guide may be helpful.

    We always test before we shoot to make sure it is safe to give insulin; until you have both pre-shot and mid-cycle data, we suggest you not shoot below 200 mg/dL on a human glucometer.

    Our Bible for feline nutrition is Cat Info written by veterinarian Dr Lisa Pierson. There is a terrific downloadable food chart here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  3. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Thank you so much for all the info and your quick response!

    I had a consultation with our vet tonight and based off Talula's curve today, she now sees that the Novolin isn't lasting 12 hours, more like 8. It seems to peak at +5 and it's been scary because she has gone really low 3 times now...50, 38 and 42. (Preshot was 250 each time and I gave her the vet recommended dose of 2.5 units) I have been able to get her back up with food each time, thankfully. And when I came home and read the link you sent me about Novolin, it reiterated my suspicions and validated the results I've been getting, so I'm definitely glad we are changing insulins.

    That being said, my vet recommended Lantus and I think it's a good choice. I am wondering how the pen works and if you can get as precise measurements as you do with U100 3/10ml syringes?

    My vet also recommended that we allow 48 hours for the Novolin to leave her system before starting Lantus, so Tuesday and Wednesday no insulin, start with Lantus on Thursday. What I'd like to do is stop the insulin and transition her to Fancy Feast over the next week while monitoring her BGs. I kinda want to see what the diet change alone does before adding insulin to the equation. This goes along with what you suggested, change one thing at a time...I'm just concerned if her BGS are high for the entire week of the food transition. Any thoughts on that? My vet wants to wean rather than going cold turkey because she is fearful the sudden change could incite pancreatitis.

    Thanks again, I really appreciate all the help!
    Sara
     
  4. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Changing food while off insulin is safer, to be sure. It can be accomplished in as few as 5 days, switching 20-25% new food each day.
    Lantus is pricey, so be prepared for sticker shock. Some places will sell 1 pen at a time, which is the most economical way to buy it. Some folks order from Canada at a greatly reduced cost; have your vet fax the scrip or you can mail it yourself. Another option is ProZinc, which has a lower up front cost total, although you want to compare on price per unit, not the package cost.
    I wouldn't wait to start insulin. You use a U-100 syringe to get the insulin out of the pens, because they don't do 0.5 or smaller increments.
    And take a dose reduction by at least 0.25 on the Novolin right now; she earned it by dropping below 50 mg/dL on a human glucometer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  5. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    This is all very helpful, thank you!

    Do I get ProZinc from my vet's office or can they call it into a pharmacy? I ask because we are moving across the country in 2 months (yet another reason to get this under control ASAP!) and I need to make sure whatever insulin I choose is readily available nationwide.

    Also, maybe I'm reading it wrong, but do you think I should change food while off insulin or not wait to start insulin?

    Thank you,
    Sara
     
  6. Mitzelplik's Mom

    Mitzelplik's Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Hi Sara,
    Regarding the UTI's, D-Mannose might be helpful if your kitty's infections are caused by e coli: http://www.neighborhoodcats.org/article/HOME/141
    I'm giving Mitz 1/8 teaspoon twice a day mixed in her food as a maintenance dose since her last UTI in January. So far so good and it does not effect her BG. Other helpful things that were suggested to me by FDMB members are adding extra water to her food and adding a probiotic. Mitz gets a little bit of plain kefir in her food once a day. She likes it better than yogurt for some reason. I don't feel qualified to weigh in on the insulin but there are so many knowledgeable people here.
    Best of luck to you and Talula!

    Joan
     
  7. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Thank you Joan!

    Good to know because she has had e coli before...this time though, it's enterococcus.

    We did Zeniquin, Clavamox (which she had a reaction to) and now we're on Baytril. One week down and three to go. It seems intense, like I don't know if I would give MYSELF that many antibiotics, but I know how dangerous an untreated UTI can be...

    The good thing is last night I started crushing the pill and mixing it in with her wet food and sprinkling Forti Flora on top, she eats it right up so inadvertently she is getting both the antibiotic and the probiotic. And I have been adding water to her food since we switched to canned UR.

    I started weaning her today onto FF...my goal is to do it 5 - 7 days. My vet wanted me to do it over the course of a month; she expressed concern that I was going to cause pancreatitis in Talula if I did it too quickly. We found a middle ground and agreed on a week. I think it's a good plan...I kinda had an order in my head of how I wanted to do things 1. Master home testing, 2. Change the food, 3. Change the insulin. Fingers crossed that it works and helps Talula!

    Thank you again! This forum is AMAZING! I've felt so isolated these last couple months...my friends all think I'm crazy to care this much about my cat. I think THEY'RE crazy and don't know what they're missing by not being cat lovers! ;)

    Sara
     
  8. Maggies Mom Debby

    Maggies Mom Debby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Sara, are you switching to ProZinc or Lantus? Both are available nation wide. Lantus is a human insulin and can be bought at any pharmacy. As BJM said, get the pens but use a regular U100 syringe with half unit markings. ProZinc is made for cats (use U40 syringes) and I think you need to get it from your vet or online.
     
  9. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Hi Debby,

    I'm deciding between the 2...my understanding was as you said, that I had to get ProZinc either through my vet or have it shipped straight to me. With us moving, I thought it might be easier to have a prescription that I can get at any pharmacy, so I was leaning towards Lantus.

    Most importantly, I want to get what's best for Talula. I probably need to research them both a little more, but it does seem like from what I've read so far that kitties have good success rates with both. Do you have a preference? What type of insulin do you use? I'm definitely interested in everyone's thoughts and opinions!

    Thanks,
    Sara
     
  10. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    I find the ProZinc more flexible for my schedule. Lantus and Levemir do best with fairly strict 12 hour dosing.
     
  11. Maggies Mom Debby

    Maggies Mom Debby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I think both have a really good track record.

    PS: Maggie's been gone for quite a while now, and she was on Levemir. I have no experience with Lantus or ProZinc.
     
  12. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Hi Debby,

    Thanks again for your help and input!

    I realize now what GA and Civies mean...I'm sorry for your loss of Maggie, she was really beautiful and had a long life, 19 years, wow! The shape of her head, expression and eyes remind me of Talula (she's a seal point Snowshoe)

    Thank you again,
    Sara
     
  13. Maggies Mom Debby

    Maggies Mom Debby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Sara, our jargon can be confusing! Thanks for the comment about Maggie. She was a very special cat. Talula is very pretty, too and I love her name!

    Did you find someone from the Akron area? BJM and I are in Ohio, but too far away to help in person. I know there are some Pittsburg area people on the board. They would be closer.

    As to the vets, diabetes is mostly managed from home. What you need is a vet who will support your home-testing and will prescribe a long-lasting insulin. If they push the RX food, all you need to say is that you can't afford it or your cat won't eat it.

    Good luck!
     
  14. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Its about a 2-2.5 hour drive up to various parts of Akron; if you really get stuck. I may be able to come up on a weekend.
     
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  15. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Thanks BJM! That's a very kind and generous offer! We are managing for now...but I may take you up on that in the future!

    Debby, Thanks for reassuring me that I can handle most of this at home! :)

    Right now, I'm wondering if there is a dosing scale for Lantus and also for Levemir that anyone can share with me? If we go with Lantus, my vet wants to start with one unit once a day. She has no experience with Levemir...

    Thank you for your time and support!

    Sara
     
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  16. saraj

    saraj Member

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    Mar 30, 2015
    Disregard...I found all the Lantus and Levemir stickys!
     
  17. saraj

    saraj Member

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    Mar 30, 2015
    I still have a question...
    I watched the video on how to extract insulin from the pen as opposed to the vial, but when I talked to the pharmacist, she acted like I was crazy and said it's not possible...just want to make sure the info is current before I buy...

    Thanks!
    Sara
     
  18. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    The info is current; the pharmacist hasn't looked inside a pen.
     
  19. saraj

    saraj Member

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    Mar 30, 2015
    Haha thanks! This whole experience has been really crazy with supposed "experts" not knowing the simplest things!
     
  20. Maggies Mom Debby

    Maggies Mom Debby Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    The pharmacist isn't used to giving insulin to cats! Inside the pen is a small vial.
     
  21. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Thanks!

    It was weird...I explained that it was for a cat, and that I'm not sure if this insulin is going to work for her, so I wanted to be the most cost effective up front...
    I asked to see the pen but they wouldn't let me until I actually paid for it, so I got nervous and left, posted on here last night, re-watched the video, and am going to get it in a few minutes!

    I guess at this point, what I'm struggling with the most, is why everything has to be such a struggle?!? Why don't pharmacists know this? Why don't vets know that dry food is packed with carbs?!? How long has Talula struggled with an inappropriate diet? I'm pissed. Like...if there was no Internet, I'm not sure where I would be right meow...but I feel fairly certain that I would have one REALLY sick kitty in tow...

    Sorry to vent on here, I'm sure it's not appropriate, I just can't wrap my brain around how the obvious is so easily ignored...

    Headed out to get that pen for my baby Talula!
    Sara
     
  22. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Venting is pretty normal around here. There are some really, really, naive vets out there, who have forgotten basic pathophysiology.
     
  23. Maggies Mom Debby

    Maggies Mom Debby Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Sara, I can tell you what would happen without the internet to help.

    I had a diabetic cat, Zeke, back in 1980s. No home glucometers, no info about diet, just tests at the vet and then home again with the insulin. Twice I came home from work to find him totally unresponsive on the floor. After the second time, the vet took him off insulin, saying he wasn't diabetic any more. Zeke lived about 6 years after that.
     
  24. Mitzelplik's Mom

    Mitzelplik's Mom Member

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    Jan 24, 2015
    From the little bit of research I've done on this, it sounds like most vets get very little training on pet nutrition in vet schools, and often what they do get is sponsored by the big-name pet food companies. I'm reading a book called 'Dog Food Logic' that takes an incredibly in-depth look at all the marketing claims and hype and advice on dog food out there and weeds out everything that's not backed up by actual scientific research. Not the easiest read but well worth the effort. And guess what? So-called prescription foods are truly nothing more than a marketing ploy in the vast majority of cases!

    You're in good company here, Sara! I'm staying with my regular vet for Mitz because we've got a history with her and she knows Mitz, but for my dogs, who are only 2 and 3, we're transitioning to a holistic vet who focuses much more on nutrition and preventative practices.

    Joan
     
  25. saraj

    saraj Member

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    Mar 30, 2015
    Thank you all! I feel like I'm losing my mind!!! I've done EVERYTHING I can possibly think of, and then more with the help of all of you, and we go to the vet last night for a urinalysis and...blood in the sterile sample. Total let down.

    We are in week 3 of Baytril, she has not missed a single dose, I scoop the litter box 3 times a day (she only urinates 2 - 3 times a day and 1 bowel movement) and have NEVER seen blood, I switched her to Fancy Feast, switched to Lantus, we home test, I give her probiotics, add water to her food...basically adjusted my entire daily life to care for her, and I don't mind! What is getting at me is she seems great! Better than ever! Playful, affectionate, grooming herself again, her coat is beautiful...but every time we go to the vet, something else is wrong.

    We are moving in 7 weeks, across the country, and I'm so worried that this won't be under control by then and even if it is, what the stress of the move alone is going to do to her. I feel helpless.

    I know everyone here has gone through the same experiences and probably much more/worse. Am I doing the right things? Have I missed anything? I left the house for 10 minutes last night to go cry because I didn't want to do it in front of her, I'm so frustrated.

    Ugh, thanks for reading, listening and helping...I know there are way worse things to have to deal with, but I can't stand when I give it my all and it's not enough...
     
  26. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    [Font;verdana]There is a condition called cystitis (bladder inflammaton) which can happen without infection. Some cats have improved using glucosamine.
    It is possible for food allergies to contribute to this.
     
  27. Mitzelplik's Mom

    Mitzelplik's Mom Member

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    Jan 24, 2015
    Ask your vet if D-Mannose might help. It's great for clearing UTI infections so it might work for cystitis too. A lot can change in 7 weeks so don't lose hope! You're doing everything you can to help your kitty and the fact that she's acting like she's feeling better shows that you're on the right track.
     
  28. saraj

    saraj Member

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    Mar 30, 2015
    Thanks for the D-Mannose reminder Joan! I saw that in one of your previous posts, but didn't investigate because she has enterococcus rather than Ecoli. But, I will try anything, and just sent a message to our vet asking about it!

    BJM, I asked the vet about cystitis on Monday night and she seemed to think we were dealing with a straight up UTI based off the C&S results. I'm definitely getting confused with all the research I've been doing, so maybe you can clarify?...

    The only signs/syptoms that I've found for cystitis that Talula has are presence of bacteria (enterococcus), white blood cells, and blood in the urine samples. I feel like these are all UTI symptoms as well, although I have read a lot about Cystitis presenting without bacteria. I guess my question is, if these are in fact symptoms of both issues, does it matter what we call it as long as it is being treated? Or are there different treatments for UTI vs. Cystitis? Are they both diagnosed the same way, with a urine sample? Like I said, I'm getting confused...

    Thanks again for the help!
    Sara
     
  29. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    Sterile cystitis (no bacteria) won't benefit from an antibiotic.
    Bacterial cystitis needs an antibiotic.
    Adequate hydration, in either case, may dilute the urine some and possibly help reduce some of the irritation.
     
  30. saraj

    saraj Member

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    Mar 30, 2015
    Just want to share some good news since my recent posts have been negative...
    Talula's test from last week came back and she does NOT currently have a UTI! :)
     
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  31. Maggies Mom Debby

    Maggies Mom Debby Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    That's great! How is she acting?
     
  32. saraj

    saraj Member

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    Mar 30, 2015
    Honestly, I was shocked at the results because she hasn't had much of an appetite since last week, eating only 4 - 5oz daily...the vet calculated a preferred calorie intake for her and determined she should be eating 9oz per day, or 3 3oz cans of FF.

    She's acting ok, not awesome...a little bit distant I guess is the best way to describe it.

    IDK...my new slogan is "one shot at a time" It's the only approach I can take in order to not go crazy!
     
  33. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Can we get you started using our grid to record your glucose tests? It will help us give you better feedback. Instructions are here.

    Understanding the spreadsheet/grid:

    The colored headings at the top are the ranges of glucose values. They are color-coded to clue you in as to meaning.

    Each day is 1 row. Each column stores different data for the day.

    From left to right, you enter
    the Date in the first column
    the AMPS (morning pre-shot test) in the 2nd column
    the Units given (turquoise column)

    Then, there are 11 columns labeled +1 through +11
    If you test at +5 (5 hours after the shot), you enter the test number in the +5 column
    If you test at +7 (7 hours after the shot), you enter the test number in the +7 column
    and so on.

    Halfway across the page is the column for PMPS (evening pre-shot)
    To the right is another turquoise column for Units given at the evening shot.

    There is second set of columns labeled +1 through +11
    If you snag a before bed test at +3, you enter the test number in the +3 column.

    We separate day and night numbers like that because many cats go lower at night.

    It is merely a grid for storing the info; no math required.
     
  34. saraj

    saraj Member

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    Mar 30, 2015
    For sure! I'll get on the grid this week! I've been meaning to ask anyway, when I'm not doing a full curve, how many times a day should I be testing?

    Thanks so much,
    Sara
     
  35. Mitzelplik's Mom

    Mitzelplik's Mom Member

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    Jan 24, 2015
    Hi Sara,
    Most people here test pre-shots at a minimum and a couple of midcycle numbers whenever you can, like before you go to bed and on weekends.
     
  36. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Thanks Joan, that helps!

    So, I mentioned that Talula hasn't had much of an appetite for the last week...she ate half a can yesterday morning and nothing throughout the day. When it came time for her pm feeding where I've been mixing the Baytril into her food (she has no problem with this normally) I only used 1/4 can because I wasn't sure how much she would eat and wanted to make sure she got the antibiotic. She barely touched it so I then sprinkled some Forti Flora on top and she licked it a few more times, but in all honesty, consumed nothing at the pm feeding. Preshot was 228 BTW, but I did not give insulin because she didn't eat.

    About an hour later she began vomiting. It continued all night every hour or so. She did periodically drink water throughout the night though. We have not slept and she has not eaten yet today, nor has she had any insulin. Our vet recommended Pepcid, half of a 10mg tablet once a day. Any advice on Pepcid use and how to administer it? I am really struggling with having to give her yet another medication, but know that she has to eat...

    Thank you,
    Sara
     
  37. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2010
    You can put it in an oral syringe (most pharmacies have them for baby meds), add a bit of water. Shake until dissolved, and optionally, mix in a bit of mushy food that you wouldn't normally feed (to avoid food aversion to a regular food).
    Or, wrap in a piece of processed cheese or a Pill Pocket - just enough to cover it up, not so much it needs to bit to get into mouth.
    The vomiting also could be pancreatitis. The test for this is done after 8-12 hour fasting.
     
  38. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Thanks BJM!

    I did the pill pocket trick I found on Dr. Pierson's site a couple hours ago and it worked. Since then, she has eaten a 1/4 of a 3oz can of FF, better than nothing, right? And has so far kept it down.

    About 6 weeks ago, my vet was concerned that she had a mild case of pancreatitis because she had lost her appetite and was having diarrhea. She explained to me that the test to find out is very expensive. I thought about it and realized that she was only showing these symptoms while on Zeniquin. Once she finished the Zeniquin, the symptoms went away, so we assumed it was that.

    The vet mentioned pancreatitis again when I wanted to change her food over the course of a week as opposed to the month long process she suggested. She was fearful a quick change would incite pancreatitis. I did the food change in a week anyway and she showed no signs.

    Basically, she was doing great until we went in for the most recent urinalysis last Tuesday night. (That's the one where the vet said there was a ton of blood in her urine) But, the culture came back yesterday completely clean with no bacteria. I asked how that could be if there was so much blood and she said it was either from stress or the sample collection. Regardless, my point is that the following morning (last Wednesday) is when she began eating less and less each day until yesterday/last night's episodes of not eating and vomiting for hours. Could the stress of that visit put blood in her urine and have maybe caused an acute pancreatitis attack?

    When I talked to the vet today she mentioned nothing about pancreatitis, but believes it's the food change...that I did it too quickly. I disagreed because she was eating it just fine for 2 weeks. So now she thinks it's a food allergy...?!? I am literally so confused. And when I look up Talula's symptoms online (nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting) I keep coming back to kidney disease/issues.

    The other thing I've noticed since Saturday is that Talula is frequently sitting in this strange position. I sent a couple pictures to the vet yesterday morning asking if it was a position cats sit in when in pain. (IDK why I asked about pain other than the fact that the position looked tense and uncomfortable to me) The vet said it looked normal and that she did not look like she was in pain. It was still bothering me though because it is so unusual for Talula, so last night in between bouts of puking, I googled it and discovered the "meatloaf" position. I believe she has been sitting like this and not eating due to abdominal discomfort...the question is why? Pancreatitis? Kidney issues? Food allergies? A million other possible reasons?

    My goal today and tomorrow is to get her eating regularly again...in the meantime, does anyone have thoughts on what I should do? Do I just suck it up and pay the $ for the SpecPLI so we know either way about pancreatitis? Do I wait? Watch for additional symptoms? How long can she go not eating the full amount of food that the vet tells me she should be eating?

    Right now she is napping contently...last night I would've bet money it was the end of the road for her...this is such a roller coaster!
     
  39. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    There is a condition called non-bacterial cystitis which is inflammation of the bladder wall. It can be triggered by food allergies in some cats, or be unknown as to reason. Something to discuss with the vet.
    Things than may help with this are fish oil and glucosamine/chondroiten.
    One way to identify or rule out allergies, is to avoid a specific protein source for a good month or two at a time, then reintroduce it to see if symptoms return. There are also blood tests for food allergy, though they can be expensive.
     
  40. Mitzelplik's Mom

    Mitzelplik's Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Hi Sara,
    Sorry to hear poor Talula is having so many issues! It might be worth copying and pasting your last post into a new thread on the main health forum to get more eyes on you, and mention the lack of appetite and possible kidney issues, etc in the heading. I'm afraid I can't offer much more than that. I do think that you should trust your intuition on Talula's condition. You know her best and know what is and isn't normal for her.
    Hope she's doing better today!

    Joan
     
  41. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Thank you Joan,
    I will post on the main forum as soon as I have a chance.
    In the meantime, Talula is refusing to eat her food this morning. I've never given her anything but cat food...is there something I can make for he to get her to eat? Tuna? Chicken? Help!
     
  42. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Another question...

    I really feel like I need to get Talula back on the insulin; she hasn't had any this week because of the vomiting/not eating.

    She ate 1/8 of a 3oz can of FF this morning, but that's it. I left food out for her all day and came home on my lunch break to offer fresh food and test her BG. At 11 AM her BG was 345. I just got home at 4:45 PM and her BG was 315. I tried to feed her again but she only licked a tiny bit off my fingertips. Our normal insulin times are 7:30 AM and 7:30 PM. Can I start back at the beginning with the Lantus .5 unit dose at 7:30 PM tonight even if she doesn't eat? I would still check BG at 7:00 PM and try to feed first...

    Thank you,
    Sara
     
  43. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Her glucose is high enough she may not be hungry. A small dose of insulin may help with that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2015
  44. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Dear BJM, Debby and Joan...

    My Talula got her angel wings on Thursday night...today is her birthday, she would've been 12.

    We had many long talks last week, we decided we would do it together and she told me when she was ready. She passed in my arms and I continued to hold her for a good while after. I actually helped her mom Bijou (my first cat) give birth to her and her siblings back in 2003. I never planned to keep Talula...she was a really ugly and unfriendly kitten...turns out she was a Snowshoe Siamese...they are all white and pink at birth and basically look like rats! Nobody would take her, so I kept her and her sister Fiona and momma Bijou...we were an awesome family of 4 for many years! It was so beautiful and amazing to watch her get her Snowshoe traits...her saddle shape on her back, her mask on her face, her bright blue eyes...she was a gift.

    25 to 37 were very formative years for me, with many firsts and many lasts...Talula was with me through it all!

    Several kitties came and went through our lives...Bijou left us first and Talula was devastated. She went on a hunger strike and cried real tears. When Fiona died, it was my turn...I couldn't get off the couch, I was just sobbing...Talula came out of wherever she was hiding and grieving, laid down on my chest with her face towards mine, and began licking the tears from my cheeks. We stayed like that for hours. I will never forget that she did that for me.

    Talula was a surrogate mom on 3 separate occasions to 3 precious abandoned stray kittens that found their way into our home and our lives. It was unreal! These kittens individually found us over the course of 3 years! They were 8 weeks, 7 weeks (with only one eye) and 4 weeks respectively. I used to joke that my ex was walking around with saucers of milk because who comes across that many strays that many times? Especially baby kittens? We saved them all, but Talula deserves the most credit...they would be nothing today without her love, nurturing and lessons...she gave endlessly.

    I lost those kittens and 2 other adult cats when the ex and I separated 3 years ago. I was so worried about how Talula would respond as she had never been a solo kitty. I giggle now when I think about how much she loved having my undivided attention, and I loved being able to give it to her finally.

    I met her daddy 2 years ago...he had never had a cat before, but she quickly taught him that cats are the best thing ever! It was crazy cool for me to watch their relationship develop; Talula never even remotely liked another human before other than me. I was honestly starting to get a little jealous! ;)

    Dad took a temporary job in LA in December. Talula and I weren't worried; we were actually looking forward to having some alone time together again. It was so cold and snowy here, we just cuddled and bonded even more! When his contract got extended at the end of January, we were really starting to miss him though. I would put him on speaker phone at night before bed and Talula would rub her face against the phone and talk back to him! It was amazing!

    When she was diagnosed in February, I felt so overwhelmed and scared and alone. I just did what the vet told me and hoped it was right. When I wasn't seeing the results I wanted, I began my endless research, which brought me to you amazing people! I can't describe or thank you enough for all the help, knowledge, encouragement and support you shared with me and Talula! I only wish I would've found you sooner.

    If there is a blessing in all of this, it is how much closer Talula and I got over the last 3 months while trying to manage her diabetes. We had a schedule and a routine, we both made sacrifices...we were a little team! I really thought we were showing diabetes who was boss. We did have 2 really great weeks in there right before she died...her coat was beautuful! She was proudly grooming herself, her eyes were the brightest blue I ever remember them being and so sparkly! She had so much energy too, like she was young again! And she was so cuddly and affectionate, it was super cool :) One night she brought me all her toys while I was sleeping; it took her hours to do it, but one by one she piled them all up at the foot of the bed. I have no idea why she did it, but I was just so happy that she had all that energy. I barely slept that night, but man did we laugh a lot :)

    I feel really lost right now and like I don't know what my purpose is anymore. I've never not had another kitty or person to come home to and take care of. I can't remember my life without her, and to be honest, I don't really want to. The loneliness is just unbelievable. But I would rather feel this then never know the pure unconditional love that Talula showed me and that I gave to her. The loss for me is so outrageous, but I wouldn't change any of it, I feel so blessed.

    So, I guess that sums up our story...thank you tremendously for listening to and supporting us. I am still moving west on June 6th...Talula will be riding to California on the dashboard! :) And maybe I'll be back here visiting you wonderful people again...I do really think that once we're settled and ready in LA, I'd like to rescue a diabetic kitty...it's the best way I can think to pay it forward and honor Talula's memory :)

    XOXO
    Sara and Talula

    Talula Anastasia ♡
    4/20/2003 - 4/16/2015

    20140420_001830.jpg
     
  45. Lori & Lulu

    Lori & Lulu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    I'm so sorry for your loss, Sara, and thank you so much for sharing so generously about your Talula. Such a beautiful girl; fly free sweet kitty.

    Lori
     
  46. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Thank you Lori

    Talula taught me how to love and my capacity to give as a human...I am forever indebted to her!

    Peace and love,
    Sara
     
  47. Mitzelplik's Mom

    Mitzelplik's Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Sara,
    I'm so sorry! I hope you can take a little comfort in knowing that you did absolutely everything you could to help her get better. Thanks for sharing Talula's story. You had a great life together and she was very lucky to have you for her mama.
    (((big hug)))
     
  48. Maggies Mom Debby

    Maggies Mom Debby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Oh no, Sara! I'm so sorry that Talula is gone. Your relationship sounds like it was so close and loving. Such a special cat and special person.

    You are right, taking care of our sugar cats somehow makes us closer and more in tune with them - I felt the same way about Maggie. Our lives revolved so much around their care. And after she was gone, I would look at the clock and think to myself "it's time to test Maggie so I can give her her shot." I still miss her.

    Take care of yourself, Sara. I hope your move to CA goes smoothly and that more loved cats are in your future, whether they are extra sweet or not.
     
  49. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Thank you Joan!

    I do know that I did everything I could do for her, especially with all the help I received here! I would have done it forever, it was just her time...

    XOXO
    Sara
     
  50. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Sending purrs and prayers
     
  51. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Thanks so much Debby!

    I know what you mean about looking at the clock...it's all I've done for the last few days. I never wished for this freedom though, so I'm just trying to adjust and learn how to take care of and focus on myself.

    Thanks again for all your support!
    Sara
     
  52. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Requiem aeternum, Talula.
    {{hugs}}
     
  53. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Thank you Larry!

    Any guy with that many furry friends is AWESOME in my book! ♡

    Sara
     
  54. saraj

    saraj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    BJM,

    Thank you for everything...your posts were always so level headed and to the point...they always seemed to come when my emotions were at the tipping point, so thank you for that :)

    I also sincerely appreciate your generous offer to drive up to Akron to help me! Be glad I didn't have your #...you most likely would've received at least one 3AM phone call from me! ;)

    You guys are the best! I donated Talula's belongings, meds and supplies to a local non profit up here, and I gave them the info for this site and talked to them for a long time about how much everyone here has helped me and Talula, so don't be surprised if you get some new members soon!

    Thank you forever,
    Sara
     
  55. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    I'm glad I was there for you and Talula.
     

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